When I say Austria, I bet you don’t think wine. You think mountains, snow, cheese, and cows with ring-a-ding-DING cow bells. Winding paths in meadows, the Sound of Music maybe, lots schnitzel and dumplings, gorgeous soups. Austrians are always surprised to hear that we don’t think of wine when we think of them. In 2017 the Austrian wine industry produced a record 2.6 million hectolitres in multiple wine regions spread throughout the country. Vienna itself is one of the few cities in the world with a thriving wine industry within the city limits.
You may already know this and know of Grüner Veltliner, one of the most popular wine exports from Austria. A dry white wine made from the grape of the same name grown primarily in Austria, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic, it is a favourite of mine. Did you know that there is a wine region in Eastern Austria that specialises in Sauvignon Blanc? Not just Sauvignon Blanc, of course, there are many varietals but this is what they are best known for. They are also known for their excellent fried chicken. Fried as wiener schnitzel in a dense crisp crumb. It is a delight. Small plump farm chickens, coated with crumb and fried until juicy and crisp. I was as surprised as I was delighted. What a treat!